On Sat 10 July I began a lovely new venture courtesy of the wonderful Sunart Farm and its bold new owners Rachel and Geoff, and Iris and Edith Evatt. The family is developing a 120-acre former-dairy farm into a wilder and richer plot by working with nature. Their achievements to date are hugely impressive and they just scooped top place for a flower display at the RHS Tatton flower show called weedthiller They already have a host of different land-based events happening on site but 10 July was the first of our collaborative efforts with a fireside outdoor discussion and reflection up the dark, the impact of darkness on nature and the special things – owls, bats and snakes to name a few – that don’t go bump in the night.
On Sat 11 Sept we have our second fireside event on Autumn. September may bring on John Keats’ ‘season of mellow fruitness’ but this moment in the year is also challenging and a period of massive change for Britain’s wildlife. Yet what exactly is autumn? Why does it happen? Why do insects disappear and the trees change colour and shed their leaves? Why is the woodland floor suddenly carpeted in fungi? And why does Britain’s jay population gather and store away approximately 1.7 billion acorns? Around the camp fire we answer autumn’s questions, explore its underlying patterns and consider the many ingenious ways that nature has found to cope with or exploit the consequences of autumn. We will also celebrate what is arguably the most beautiful season in the Peak District. It’s £25 per ticket. For details and booking email Rachel on firstname.lastname@example.org. Or go to their new website here
I have been beavering away on a new book, tentatively called One Midsummer’s Day and partly about swifts. I am just under half way there. It is a book on which I have now worked longer than any other and I am hugely excited by the project. More I cannot say!
Our other big news is that we are closing in on our transfer from Norfolk to Derbyshire, which has been in train since December 2019. There were obvious interrruptions in 2020 but a new life beckons in what we can only hope is as serene a twelve months as possible. Happy New Year everyone.